Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
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Mesoamerican Barrier Mesoamerican Barrier ReefReef
Zoe Chung 07/06/2011
What’s the MBR?What’s the MBR?
Second largest coral reef in the world.Second largest coral reef in the world. Home to a rich biodiversity.Home to a rich biodiversity. Helps the economy by providing a place to fish, Helps the economy by providing a place to fish,
collect local food supplies, and to support marine collect local food supplies, and to support marine tourism.tourism.
Acts as a safety barrier from storms.Acts as a safety barrier from storms. Stretches over 1000km, hosts more than 65 species of Stretches over 1000km, hosts more than 65 species of
coral and 500 species of fish.coral and 500 species of fish.
Extends along the coast of Mexico, Extends along the coast of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize.Guatemala, Honduras and Belize.
How Coral Reefs Are BuiltHow Coral Reefs Are Built
--Coral PolypsCoral Polyps are tiny plant-like animals that secrete are tiny plant-like animals that secrete Calcium Carbonate.Calcium Carbonate.
-Calcium Carbonate is used to build back coral -Calcium Carbonate is used to build back coral structure.structure.
-Coral Polyps work together with a uni-cellular algae -Coral Polyps work together with a uni-cellular algae called called zooxantellaezooxantellae, which uses photosynthesis to , which uses photosynthesis to provide oxygen to both the coral and the Coral provide oxygen to both the coral and the Coral Polyps.Polyps.
• The oxygen alters the carbon dioxide concentrations in coral The oxygen alters the carbon dioxide concentrations in coral tissue and increases the Coral Polyps’ ability to secret Calcium tissue and increases the Coral Polyps’ ability to secret Calcium Carbonate.Carbonate.
• Organisms such as sponge and worms break down dead coral.Organisms such as sponge and worms break down dead coral.
• The dead sediments settle into the reef and is cemented by The dead sediments settle into the reef and is cemented by Algae.Algae.
• The Calcium Carbonate gradually accumulates and the reef The Calcium Carbonate gradually accumulates and the reef grows and rebuilds itself.grows and rebuilds itself.
What destroys the Coral Reefs?
• GLOBAL WARMING!
Global WarmingGlobal Warming
Changing weather patterns causes fluctuations Changing weather patterns causes fluctuations in the surface dynamics of oceans.in the surface dynamics of oceans.
Ex. Rises in sea temperature = Damaged Ex. Rises in sea temperature = Damaged Coral.Coral.
An increase in temperature causes coral’s An increase in temperature causes coral’s natural algae to disperse. natural algae to disperse.
Algae is important because it helps coral to Algae is important because it helps coral to survive and gives them their coral.survive and gives them their coral.
An increase in climate affects the dangers and An increase in climate affects the dangers and frequency of hurricanes.frequency of hurricanes.
This intensifies the physical damage done to This intensifies the physical damage done to the coral reefs. the coral reefs.
An increase in temperature of only An increase in temperature of only two two degrees Celsiusdegrees Celsius is enough to cause is enough to cause coral bleaching!coral bleaching!
• Fishermen dynamite reefs and inject cyanide into the water.
• This stuns fish, making them easier to catch.
• Effect? Overfishing of certain species can easily
affect the reef’s ecological balance and biodiversity.
The Grouper FishThe Grouper Fish
• The grouper fish is a popular fish to catch.
• A declination in its population means an increase in the Damselfish’s (a prey of the Grouper Fish) population.
• Damsel fish create pockets in coral which allows Algae to grow.
• The Algae can take over a reef and smother it, causing it to be destroyed.
What’s Being Done About It?What’s Being Done About It?
Belize Bans Trawling
• Trawling- the act of using a strong fishing net that drags along the sea bottom to catch shrimp.
• They are known for the amount of by-catch (unintended catch) they haul in.
Effect of Trawling
• Bottom Trawlers (weighted nets) graze the ocean floor, destroying corals and habitats.
• They also pick up organisms and wildlife that are necessary for the ecosystem to thrive. Ex. Sea turtles and marine mammals.
• The call to ban Trawling has been brought up in the past, however the political support was lacking.
• When UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) threatened to strip the Belize Barrier Reef of its World Heritage Site status, the government took notice.
• They agreed to BAN TRAWLING!
SourcesSources http://www.coral.org/where_we_work/caribbeanhttp://www.coral.org/where_we_work/caribbean http://www.coral.org/where_we_work/caribbean/marhttp://www.coral.org/where_we_work/caribbean/mar http://www.oceanus.org.mx/web/index2.php?http://www.oceanus.org.mx/web/index2.php?
marine-conservation-expedition-mexico/the-programmarine-conservation-expedition-mexico/the-program http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/coralreef/CRanthro.htmlhttp://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/coralreef/CRanthro.html http://central-america.panda.org/about/countries/belize/?http://central-america.panda.org/about/countries/belize/?
Created by: Zoe ChungCreated by: Zoe Chung